Irish teacher jailed for sex with a student who was under the age of consent.
An Irish teacher received a one-year sentence for having sex with a student who was under the age of consent. The substitute teacher was jailed for the defilement of a 16-year-old boy who was her student. She was aged 23 at the time of both offenses.
The woman is said to have waited until the boy’s 16th birthday before engaging in sexual activity, believing this to be the legal age. The age of consent in Ireland is, in fact, 17. The woman, who is now 25, can not be named to protect the identity of the victim.
The former teacher pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of defilement in early 2018 and was sentenced to a year jail time.
The victim was in his fifth year of secondary school when the offenses occurred. The woman joined his school as a substitute teacher and began teaching him English. The pair met at an over-18 nightclub and began talking on social media app Snapchat.
Following this, on one occasion the woman picked the boy up in her car where they drove around and talked.
On his 16th birthday, she picked him up once again and the pair drove to Gormanston Beach where she gave him a birthday present and they had sex. On the day before Valentine’s Day, they met in a hotel room booked in the woman’s name and again had sex. The boy told his parents he had stayed with a friend. There were no further sexual encounters following this.
The court heard that the student believed himself to be in a relationship with the teacher and his mother was aware that he had a girlfriend with her name but did not know that it was his teacher.
It only came to light when his mother was called into the school to talk about the boy’s erratic absences from school.
Passing the sentence, Judge Martin Nolan said it was “completely unethical and immoral” for a teacher to have sexual relations with a student but accepted that she had made a mistake with the age of consent. He also took into account the teacher’s early plea of guilty, her co-operation, her full admissions, and her being a young inexperienced teacher at the time. Judge Nolan decided it was unlikely she would offend again and sentenced her to three years with the final two years suspended on condition she keeps the peace and be of good behavior while in custody and for two years post-release.
A report from a specialist in childhood sexual abuse that was handed to the court no sexual interest in children or adolescents and did not qualify as being a pedophile. It stated that she did not groom the boy and that he initiated sexual contact while she was flattered by it, being a young and naive teacher.
The woman is no longer a teacher and is employed in a different field.